Gov: Ranching Great Background For Politics

By John Celock

Wyoming’s Republican governor is touting how ranching is a good background for politics and that Washington does not know what’s best for the states in a new video.

Gov. Matt Mead (R), who is seeking a second term this year, touted the gains the Cowboy State has made under his leadership and the role of GOP governors nationally in the latest video the Republican Governors Association’s “American Comeback” video series posted on YouTube on Tuesday morning. Mead, a former U.S. attorney, sounded similar to other Republican governors in touting that the states know best.

“I don’t think Washington knows what’s best than Wyoming. In fact, rural Wyoming is a very different place than many other states,” Mead said. “When you have a cookie cutter approach coming out of Washington, D.C. it’s just never going to work very well.”

Other governors who have been in the video series, including Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R), have touted a similar message. In the video, Mead also notes that he and his GOP state counterparts have been providing better leadership for their states than what he said is coming from the federal government.

Among the issues Mead highlighted were the state’s low unemployment, high rainy day fund and being ranked a national center for data hubs. He noted that he accomplished this in a largely rural state that is the nation’s most sparsely populated state.

Mead opened the video highlighting his ranching background, noting that it gave him lessons for how to run a state government.

“I think ranching is a great background for politics. You recognize that in any given year you only have what is there,” Mead said. “You can’t pre eat you hay, you can’t pre eat your cattle. We need to be here next year, three years and ten years form now. We need to do this in a way that the next generation can do well and the generation after that. That is a great lesson for government, that there are limitations.”

Mead is the third generation of his family to be involved in Wyoming politics. His grandfather, Clifford Hansen, was a U.S. senator and Wyoming’s governor. His mother, Mary Mead, was a rancher who was the GOP nominee for governor in 1990 losing to then Gov. Mike Sullivan (D). His sister-in-law, Kate Mead, unsuccessfully sought a seat in the state House of Representatives in 2006. Mead unsuccessfully sought appointment to the U.S. Senate in 2007.

Mead is currently facing off against state Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill, a Tea Party favorite, in the GOP gubernatorial primary. Mead and Hill have long battled each other, with Mead signing legislation last year stripping Hill of running the state Education Department and relegating her to largely ceremonial duties in the elected superintendent’s post. Mead’s office also released a report alleging that Hill mismanaged the Education Department, along with waving a knife at a staff party and causing staffers to fear her and her inner circle.

The state Supreme Court ruled the law stripping Hill of her power was unconstitutional and allowed her to regain control of the department from a Mead appointee. She claims that Mead and lawmakers targeted her to trying to stop the federal government from getting involved in Wyoming educational issues.

Pete Goser, the treasurer of the state Board of Education and former state Democratic Party chairman, is the only Democrat in the gubernatorial race.